In this post I want to explain how lucky you are to be teaching at a very special moment in human history .. and how this gives you the opportunity to earn more from your teaching life, while working less.
To achieve this, you need to realise 5 things ..
1. You Only Get One Chance at Life
Unless we are insanely lucky (and Buddhists are right) we only get one chance at ‘life’.
How we spend our time matters much more than we think, as we trudge through the day-to-day, often dealing with only the few hours directly in front of us.
It is likely that a large proportion of your working life has been spent on autopilot, doing this ...
“Just one more day and it’s the weekend” .. “Just 2 more weeks and I get a holiday”
We wish our lives away.
Only when time is short do we truly value it - and there aren't many people who, on their deathbed, think “I wish I had spent longer at work”.
No, ultimately the biggest regrets of those close to death are related to the time they didn’t spend with those they love .. the moments they missed out on.
Sorry for being depressing here, but it’s the ultimate reality of the time bound existence we live ... and it’s a reality that far too many people ignore until it is too late!
How you spend your time matters.
So if your job keeps you working most of your waking hours, or if your pay is so low that you have to work a second job .. you are making a sacrifice which you might end up regretting.
What is a ‘Balanced Life’?
A balanced life is one in which you feel happy and satisfied - in all areas of your life.
Some people call it achieving a work-life balance, others call it living in harmony with who you are.
Whatever your definition, a balanced life is one which allows you to focus on the things which are most important to you ..
.. and to make the impact on the world which you were born to make.
2. Most Modern Teachers Struggle to ‘Balance’ Their Lives
The job of a modern teacher is more demanding than ever before.
Our students are tested to within an inch of their lives, and the job we do is increasingly more about achieving results in these tests, than it is about educating 'the whole student' for a life after school.
To achieve ever better test results, teachers are made accountable for a range of factors which are, to a large extent, outside of our control.
This creates a unique pressure in the job that burns many teachers out long before we reach retirement.
Combine this with rates of pay which don’t come close to reflecting the work we do - and achieving a work-life balance is impossible for many people.
3. The Consequences of Living Out of ‘Balance’ Can be Serious
When the balance in your life is wrong - sooner or later it has consequences.
The most obvious consequence is not enjoying your life very much. The prescription our society recommends is heavy doses of escapism and many hours watching back-to-back box sets on TV.
Our world is full of opportunities for the escapism we need to forget our lack of balance.
But forgetting the cause doesn’t relieve the longer term symptoms ..
- Illness - Some people suffer mental or physical health illness because of overwork.
- Children - For others, their children grow up without the parental influence they need - or worse, they believe their parents don’t care enough to spend time with them.
- Loss of a Job - Some invest everything they have into their career, only to find when leadership changes - or a fresh alternative arrives - that they aren’t as indispensable than they thought.
- Burnout - Still others work themselves to a standstill and suffer burnout - becoming a shell of the happy person they were born to be.
So, How is Your Work-life Balance?
- Do you recognise that the work you currently do is unsustainable?
- Perhaps you are aware that the ‘balance’ in your life is wrong, and you have been ignoring it?
- Or are you only just realising that you don’t want to sacrifice having a life for your job?
Personally, my feelings changed when I had children - I no longer wanted to work into each evening and weekend.
My daughter is only 4 once.
The time we spend together is precious and will mould her into the person she will become.
I want her to remember her daddy as the loving, happy, creative person that I am, not someone who always had ‘evening marking’ or ‘weekend planning’ competing for her attention.
So if you have just woken up to the fact that there is more to life than your job ..
.. or if you’ve been ignoring this feeling for long enough, and now want a way out of the lifestyle which you are currently living ..
Then I have good news for you.
Because by some quirk of fate, you are teaching at a very special time in human history.
4. You are Teaching at a Unique Time in Human History
Right now the planet is learning and self-development mad!
The availability of information over the internet has changed the aspirations of ordinary people, who are investing in self development courses, ebooks and coaching programs to become the people they aspire to be.
In fact, history will record the time you are living in right now, alongside the invention of the printing press ..
.. when affordable, printed books suddenly became available to the ordinary man or woman in the street.
The information revolution happening now is changing so much - and the area with the biggest potential for change is education.
This the PERFECT time to be an educator.
But how does this affect the humble classroom teacher?
The employment possibilities for teachers and those who can deliver meaningful learning experiences, are being transformed by this information revolution.
Because working a classroom job is no longer the the only choice you have - there are now many ways to earn the money which will allow your family to live a comfortable and enjoyable life.
There are now many new ways you can teach.
5. Right Now, Teachers are Designing Their own Perfect Working Lives
Right now you have a once in a generation opportunity - to design your own perfect life.
- To work the hours that suit you
- To be creatively free and to teach what you want
- To make a difference to thousands of people worldwide
- To earn much more than a teachers salary - and spend less time doing it
How can you do this?
Write an online course, become an online coach or tutor, deliver live online classes .. all of these things are happening right now - and the people delivering them don’t have nearly the experience or talent that you've earned in your classroom job.
Right now YOU have a skill which the world values greatly .. don’t waste this opportunity to change your own life, using the skills you already have.
Success could mean a second income to pay off your mortgage, the opportunity to see the world - or to retire early.
It could even mean the replacement of your full time job and the freedom of a life without bells, timetables, marking, or the pressure to ‘perform’ each day.
And it can all start with a simple passion project which you run alongside your classroom job. If this sounds interesting to you check out The Classroom Teachers Guide to Teaching Online, where I reveal my 5 Step Formula to make the transition from classroom teacher to online teacher a successful one.
Good luck in the classroom,